YouTube’s popularity has grown over the years as fans have begun to follow their favorite channels in order to keep up with YouTubers’ lives. Being an “influencer” or a “brand ambassador” is a real job title now, and some of these individuals make millions. As a side effect, YouTube has created a culture in which fans are trying to emulate the lifestyles of content creators.

Tinna Lam / Daily Nexus

Typical videos that YouTubers create include daily routines, morning/night routines or “what I eat in a day” videos. I myself often indulge in these videos. Alexis Ren, who reached fame through modeling and Instagram, has her own channel. Ren shares videos of her travel adventures and her super healthy diet and exercise regimen. I tried her kale superfood salad, only to discover that tempeh is not for me. Even other YouTubers, such as Blair Walnuts, have spent hundreds of dollars revamping their diet and workouts. Although it may be tempting to eat like your favorite influencers, sometimes it’s just not realistic. I for one can’t afford to splurge at the grocery store.

Vogue has also tapped into the idea of promoting celebrity daily routines by publishing videos of stars’ beauty regimes, morning and night routines and so on. The idea of the public being interested in the products and activities of celebs is nothing new, but YouTube is a media outlet that is banking on this concept through vlogs. Some viewers who watch these videos may try to copy the beauty regimes of their favorite celebrities, but this could max out their credit card and/or distract them from the specific beauty and skin routine that’s best for them.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with watching these videos. YouTube is a great social media platform, especially when you’re a busy college student and don’t have enough time to watch a whole episode of TV. However, I don’t think it’s good if it becomes an obsession to imitate a celebrity or influencer’s lifestyle. When viewers copy influencer’s habits, it puts a lot of pressure on the individual. For example, Victoria’s Secret models have a lot of videos sharing their diet and exercises leading up to the annual fashion show, but these kinds of regiments can be unhealthy if the average person overdoes it in terms of exercising and dieting. Trying to be or look like someone else can enforce unhealthy expectations and a desire for unrealistic beauty goals. I know there are times when I have overworked my body, and it’s always good to take a step back and realize that I should be eating and working out to feel good instead of obsessing about looking a certain way.

Daily routine videos just aren’t that interesting after a while. There are different channels I follow based on YouTubers that I think are funny or topics that I am fascinated by. But, there are only so many morning or nighttime routine videos I can watch. All of us have different routines, and seeing other people get ready in the morning just is not that exciting.

I believe that it’s important to form healthy habits and regimens, and it’s always fun to get tips from others that you admire, but that doesn’t mean you have to copy everything they do.

But there is no shame in watching or liking these daily routine videos. Although, I do think it’s good to ask yourself why you watch them. Do you want to follow someone else’s lifestyle? I believe that it’s important to form healthy habits and regimens, and it’s always fun to get tips from others that you admire, but that doesn’t mean you have to copy everything they do. Trying Alexis Ren’s salad showed me that I am better off creating my own meal plan. There’s no harm in trying new foods and not liking them, as I did, but I realized that I’m happier preparing meals that I’ve grown up eating. I don’t need to copy anyone else’s diet, and I think it’s better to discover what you’re interested in on your own. Would you rather live someone else’s life or create your own?

In this day and age, social media has created an environment of constantly comparing yourself to others or trying to follow trends. Why not just take a step back and find what makes you happy without basing it on other people’s choices? On social media, influencers show the kind of life that they choose to share with the world, and it’s important to realize that this lens might not be authentic or give the whole picture. I’d rather spend my early 20s discovering who I am as an individual rather than following the habits of celebrities and influencers who lead seemingly perfect lives.

Morgan Wiitala wants YouTube users to make healthy choices that fit their individual needs.